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Growth of Three Pine Species after Eleven Years on Reclaimed Minesoils In Virginia

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A reforestation experiment was established to test the growth of three pine species on two different surface-mined sites in the Appalachian coalfields of southwest Virginia. One site was mined just prior to enactment of the 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA), and one site was mined and reclaimed to its approximate original contour in accordance with post-SMCRA regulations. Three pine species (Pinus taeda, P. virginiana, and P. strobus) were planted on each site in 1981. A fertilization and an herbaceous weed control treatment were tested. Half the plots were fertilized with a 21 g fertilizer tablet at time of planting and a broadcast application of 50 kg/ha N as ammonium nitrate prior to the fourth growing season. Each plot was split to accommodate an herbaceous weed control treatment during the first 3 yr. After 11 yr, all three tree species grew very well on the prelaw bench site, but were less productive on the postlaw AOC site. The fastest growing species was loblolly pine, which averaged 22 ft tall. Aggressive herbaceous ground covers commonly established on surface-mined land to reduce erosion were successfully controlled by herbicides, resulting in a significant improvement in survival and growth for all tree species. Fertilization as used in this study had little effect on growth and was not as beneficial for tree establishment as the herbicide treatment. The performance of these commercial tree species in this study demonstrates that good forest management opportunities exist for the owners of surface-mined land. North. J. Appl. For. 17(3):95–99.

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Mead Coated Board, 1000 Broad St., Phenix City, AL, 36867 2: Department of Forestry (0324), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, Phone: (540) 231-7680; Fax: (540) 231-3330 3: Department of Forestry, Mississippi State University, PO Drawer FR, MS, 39762 4: Reynolds Homestead Forest Resources Research Center, PO Box 70, Critz, VA, 24082

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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